December 28, 2008

Christmas Festivities

We were counting down the sleeps till family arrived, and had finally reached the day, only to receive a call that the flight had been delayed and they wouldn't arrive till the next morning.

ARRGGHH!! One more sleep to add to the count..

Tuesday morning the whole tribe arrived, babies and all, ready for some winter-time Christmas festivities.

The lights at Opryland Hotel

Steph, J & Shane

We braved the cold for the Christmas Eve service at church, and spent Christmas day giving gifts, sleeping, eating and enjoying general merriment. And we are now fully aware that it's totally "normal" to call things ninky nonk's & makka pakka's!

fiddly, tiny, Ninky Nonk.. And Nate..

We also tackled our first turkey - those are some big birds. It was cooked, and didn't deflate (Griswold-style) so we'll count it a success. :)

The rest of our time so far has been spent enjoying lots of cuddles with the littlies, and laughs and chats around the dinner table. It is very nice to have a full house (even if that means a collection of used nappy bags on the back steps every evening and morning. We have a very efficient poo fairy!)
More family vacation adventures are on the way..
x

December 10, 2008

A bit of this and that

Since we're sitting here at home, off the road for a few weeks, counting down the days till Christmas, you're going to be subjected to some pretty "boring life" blogs!

Assuming you even continue to log-on...
You would be easily forgiven for clicking Back..

And if you're still with me (Dad) here's a wrap-up of the last week or so.

We celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary. "That's not boring - that's wonderful!" I hear you say.. So true, it was very special, complete with flowers and a few glasses of wine to toast the blessing of our nuptials. We cherish the journey together and thank God for His mercies.

(from Nate to me, in case there was some concern)

We've been bought up-to-date on the latest fashion for poochies while dog-sitting - see here the Fall/Winter Range 2008. I'm dying to see what '09 brings us!

Willis Scott - sporting a fabulous, mulit-toned fleece parker...

Ellie Sayles in a DIVINE argyle knit vest.

And yes - the Christmas festivities have begun! Here is a tiny glimpse of our (borrowed) tree. A true unveiling, complete with us in matching christmas sweaters, is on the way.


Fir and garlands, and all things icicle make so much more sense here in the Northern Hemisphere. It is lovely to see Santa and his Reindeer on people's front lawn minus the melting faces!

November 27, 2008

Australia

We have had an intense few days of Australian-love! The combination of seeing Baz Lurhman's Australia and celebrating Thanksgiving with American's wanting to know all about Australia (cricket was a hot topic that night!) we have been reflecting a lot on our homeland.

Can it be said that we loved the movie?! Whether it's kitsch, cliche, long, epic, or all of the above, we didn't mind a single bit. We are Aussie's living in a faraway land and so we soaked-up the 2 hrs 45mins of watching our beautiful country on widescreen, complete with real Aussie actors and familiar Aussie sayings we know all too well (whether we like it or not!).

It did take us a second or two to stop cringing at the "Aussie-ness" of the script. We felt a wee-bit embarrassed for our country in the company of our American friends, until we both realized that what we were cringing at was exactly what makes Australia special & different from anywhere else. We quickly become very proud citizens. :)

Although we normally reserve our blog for the interest of others, this blog is more for the interest of ourselves! This is our very own brag-book - a few of our own Australian memories through pictures, memories & places that we are very thankful for.


We will enjoy the craze that is Australia while it lasts - embracing all the crikey's and kangaroo's that we can! After all, we peer through rose-colored glasses over a wide ocean.

(Shane - it's a good thing you're visiting to fix-up the damage we've done in trying to explain cricket. You should have seen the looks of confusion at Thanksgiving dinner last week!)

November 22, 2008

Picture of the Weekend

Leaves.. Lots and lots of them all over our lawn.

1st - we are season-less Aussie's
2nd - we are apartment dwellers...
So it did take some time for us to figure out that the leaves weren't going to move on their own, and in fact, they would just pile-up higher and higher. Would we even see if one of Aunt Shirley's cats pitched a tent on the lawn?! It was getting more desperate by the day..

So as saturday morning rolled around, with slightly "warmer" weather, we rugged-up and raked. And raked and raked. And wondered the whole time if this is what everyone else does, or only the clueless Aussie's?

I felt sure that it all looked so much more fun on the Cosby Show. And Nate felt sure that no show could make this look remotely fun.

Then we watched as more leaves fell... The Season of Fall is so perfectly named.

To think that I laughed out loud at the giant rake Nate purchased - "that was all they had?!" - our little Aussie version of the rake, that I had expected, would've hung its head in shame.

x.

November 16, 2008

It must be a slow news week...

I have a new hobby - goodbye thumb twiddling, hello knitting!

With time to burn as we travel, sitting in a car / hotel / church, I have decided to use it for good (and at the same time, according to Nate, fulfill a certain Christian wifey stereotype!).

I have affectionately called this first scarf Tar Heel, after the State we have been touring as it was knitted and kept me entertained. N & I think the length of a scarf will be our guide to the length of a tour (or maybe just the length of my patience as I sit through another concert - this one was gearing-up to be SUPER long until I ran-out of wool :) )

(i realize the eyes do have a slightly crazed look.. I finally feel asleep at 2:30am this morning and headed to bible study at 6am... That could be it.)

Despite my noble aim of knitting for others, I think I need a little more practice - so Nate's matching sock and singlet set will have to wait. My sister once gave dad a knitted sunglasses case - maroon and pale blue even! - so look-out family, it could be a woolly Christmas.

C x

October 30, 2008

The Lastest..

[Despite how it may appear, Nate and I DO actually work, and not just traipse from one city to the next visiting friends and having photo's with babies! Work just isn't as fun to blog on :) ]

After a delayed London flight, two nights at home, numerous loads of washing and another 4:30am rise-time (!), we were on our way to NYC. Nate lost his voice mid-travels, and had to power through a weekend of playing (and sing/whispering), which thankfully still went down well with each church. But it has left him quite hoarse this week and we're praying it heals-up before NC.*

In light of Nate's more sickly state, Justin suggested we drive, instead of train, to Tarrytown (about 40mins North of the city). And after a day of traveling, that sounded oh so sweet to us! We left it in Justin's capable hands to organize and we were thankful for the teeny-tiny joy of the ride..
Aside from playing some tunes, we had the pleasure of meeting Happy Moffatt, our new godson. No, Happy is not his actual name... It's our current nickname for him, as it so aptly describes his state of being. He is one super happy little Moffatt and we love him.

As the wind chill dropped and the sun disappeared Nate and I didn't venture too far for the remainder of our visit. We took-in our usual haunts (and a couple of new ones - thanks Soph & Pete!), drank plenty of coffee, ate cupcakes and marveled at NYer's resilience to freezing cross-island breezes.

We were charmed by the city once again, and as we flew home with a view of the Island looking South, we were already itching to get back.

C & Nt.

*please pray for Nate's voice if you think of it. Currently, the down-low Darth Vader vibe isn't most ideal for his tunes.

October 20, 2008

The final UK days...

Having missed our connecting flight home tonight, we're still officially on tour and so we figure one more UK blog is allowed! (plus, it might help lift the spirits! Current status is a bit of a downer after the 4:30am start this morning).

We spent the reminder of our trip in Sheffield, having play time in the park, enjoying the quaintness of the area and soaking-up good-times with dear friends (and eating HEAPS of "aussie" chocolate). We were sad to leave...

Typical Sheffield street (Steph - does this look familiar?!)

J had us laughing at the number of times she could bump her head and not blink an eye, or her endearing quality of ending many stories with "silly me!".
F got the giggles at how much Nate said "awesome" and suggested that maybe "brilliant" was a good word to use too!
And little E's uniqueness is in the making...
Here's a few extra snaps, they tell the story better than we could considering our current energy levels!
Reesy interviewing Nate on Sunday night

Guitar time was a particular favorite

Perfect weather for hot chocolate

Last of the summer flowers

It's been a huge encouragement to spend time with the Rees' and see the work they're doing at Christ Church Fulwood - it is such a vibrant community of Christians and so receptive to the role Liz & Reesy have. It's very exciting to see how God has made this home for them, and it's a great reminder of His faithfulness in our own journey as well.

Nt & C

October 19, 2008

Sheffield Weekend Follies

We left behind the drizzly, busy streets of London for Sheffield - quite a change with its rolling hills and shaggy sheep... It's here that a true side of England can be seen - there are plenty of wellington boots, tweed jackets, tiny cars & extremely tiny country roads.

The time has been busy with gigs (and late-night drives) but it's all very worthwhile to have the excuse to visit with dear friends. Liz & Reesy graciously accommodated our late-night arrivals (twice!) and we've really enjoyed being a part of the family for a few days.

Here are some snaps from Saturday at Chatsworth House: (or Chatswoff, as we like to say it).
F was in charge of leading us to all the different sculptures on display...
The beautiful gardensYes, they are wearing winter attire and eating ice-cream - only in England!
Little E all rugged-up - cute as a button

CC Fulwood packed a bunch of students into one of the local cafes on Saturday for a chilled night of music and then we were back at the church for Sunday services. We had a great time connecting with the community again - it is a wonderful church of faithful believers, all very excited to have Nathan back, which was a great way to end-off this UK tour!
There may be one more UK blog left in us with some extra pics - lazy days with hilarious kids and good friends!

x

October 14, 2008

London Leg: Weekend Adventures

After two mornings of sleeping like we haven’t slept in years (is there such a thing as delayed jet-lag?), we have emerged with stories from the weekend…

Friday we hopped the bus to Oxford and despite the 2 hour journey (when we thought it would only take 1), we still managed to sneak-in a quick wander through the streets and pretty-ness that is this famous Uni town.

Nate played a great concert at St Ebbes Church, before we skipped back to London late that evening.

Saturday, with the sun still shining and aware of the rarity, we decided it was market day. So we walked with Kelly in the direction of her local hang, only to find the market completely empty!!

So we sat in the sun & got our morning coffee fix, before heading for Notting Hill. And if you want a market, Notting Hill will give you a market!! Oh yes indeedy...

I almost hyperventilated from the crush of people streaming down Portobello Rd, all looking for that little English antique treat or something resembling antique. I think it easily went for a mile, lined with stalls and stores of various wonders and bargains.
If the guy from antique road show had suddenly appeared to give the low-down on every stall, it wouldn’t have surprised us. It was a gorgeous day, in a gorgeous part of London..
That evening was Wandsworth, in Sth London, where we enjoyed our first pub gig of the trip. And the next day was back in London at All Souls. Nathan busted-out three services and another pub show that evening, all of which were a blast. There is nothing like singing, drinking Brits to really get things going! It was awesome to see them get into Nathan’s songs.

Time with friends definitely kept us from keeling-over during our marathon Sunday. Kelly was a trooper in helping-out. And Em & Gav meet us for lunch - we soaked-up the sun on Charlotte Street with some great Thai food and good chats. Afternoon snooze-trap successfully avoided!

Next stop – Sheffield and some Rees family time!